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Re-Reading My Weblog: March 2005

Screenshot 10 3 14 6 17 PM I moved the weblog over to TypePad and in March 2005, having gotten tired of trying to maintain it on my own using Movable Type.

Back then, the Social Security Privatization War was in full swing. We in the Rubin wing of the Democratic Party were prepared to endorse and support--nay, be enthusiastic about--private Social Security accounts, provided that they were (1) structured so as to be a good investment vehicle for Americans rather than a lousy investment vehicle that was a profit center for Wall Street, and (2) a substantial net addition to the flow of retirement savings--primarily an add-on to the existing Social Security system, rather than a carve-out from it.

Bush and his people had (3) proposed a carve-out that (4) looked to be a lousy investment vehicle and were (5) telling a bunch of things about it that were simply not true. So we waited to see if there was in fact going to be a serious bipartisan proposal--or if Bush and company were going to be able to assemble the Republican troops and hold them together so that they could steamroll something stupid and counterproductive through via Reconciliation.

And while we waited we pushed back with... facts, logic, analysis, sound argument... and a little sarcasm:

March 2005 also saw me try to make sense of American monetary policy.

I found myself: (a) praising the good "monetary technocrat" face of Alan Greenspan while denouncing the ideological Randite and the Republican Party team player faces; praising Paul Blustein's book about Argentina and meditating on how it was that modern monetary systems were so non-robust and so fragile to even minor mismanagement--why were the Gods of Monetarism so vengeful?--and musing about whether global imbalances made a major financial crisis in the relatively-near future a likely scenario:

March 2005 saw me lamenting the mendacious and innumerate intellectual and moral corruption of all bad thinkers everywhere--in this case, right-wing think tanks, journamalists, Republican officeholders, and Joe Lieberman:

Note that the Old New Republic, instead of rallying left-of-center troops to a sensible position on Social Security, was instead publishing... what one expect from a magazine overwhelmingly staffed and edited by those willing to go the extra mile to appease the manifold bigotries of Martin Peretz.

March 2005 also saw me--wrongly--doubting that China would be able to continue its rapid growth for an additional decade:

And there was the astonishing Republican torture of the Schiavo family:

The feel-good things to read from this month are Dean Baker's, Paul Krugman's, and my attempts to think through some of the analytical issues about asset prices and economic growth--points and papers that I am still proud of:

The feel-bad things to read remind me of what Greg Mankiw and Michael Barone were then writing:

Weblogs, Cycle

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